December 21, 2012

Technology Helping Even the Most Directionally Challenged Shopper Catch a Clue


If you are anything like me, you continuously find yourself getting lost on the same exact twists and turns on the exact same highways time after time. That is just one of the reasons why I love my GPS, because not only do I actually make it to my intended destination, but I don’t have an anxiety attack in the process.

The holidays are just around the corner, and if you’re one of those brave enough to head to the nearest mall for some shopping yet want to remain as efficient as possible, wouldn’t it be nice to have a GPS strictly for finding the store you want to visit so you can get in and out before the masses? Well, I guess my wish is your command.

Or rather, this desire has been fulfilled by researchers who have revealed that they have just come across a way to launch apps that will work indoors – even in situations in which a GPS signal is blocked. Calling Wi-Fi fingerprinting, The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology recently debuted an innovative alternative that uses Wi-Fi radio signals to create a map of sorts.

Business Insider reveals, “It doesn't require accompanying GPS location data or a manually uploaded map of the building. Instead, it uses Wi-Fi signal strengths to determine a smartphone's location as it traveled around an area. The researchers put software on a phone that was able to track the Wi-Fi signals from other smartphones in the vicinity, similar to how Google uses smartphones to determine traffic jams.”

Other similar products on the market include those from Google and startup company Micello, but they both use uploaded maps data. In addition, Shopular is powering a geolocation app that targets the mall shopper and presents them with coupons and deals upon their arrival.

“What we are trying to do is provide information so seamless so that you do absolutely nothing to save money. All you have to do is show the screen to the cashier,” Navneet Loiwal, one of the two brains behind the operation commented.

Pretty cool ideas, huh? If these apps do in fact work, I guarantee that holiday shopping in 2013 won’t be nearly as stressful, time consuming or costly and could even leave you with time to spare to pamper yourself.




Edited by Allison Boccamazzo



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Google    Smartphone    Software
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